A family’s fishing trip to Alaska ended in tragedy after their chartered boat sank, leaving five dead and two missing.
Eight members of the Tyau family embarked on a big fishing vacation off the coast of Alaska over Memorial Day weekend.
On Sunday, one of their boats capsized about 10 miles off the coast of Sitka, near Low Island, the US Coast Guard said.
The boat, named Awakin, was a 30-foot aluminum charter vessel owned by Kingfisher Charters.
The Awakin was last seen on Sunday afternoon. It was finally found later that evening that it had capsized.
One person, later identified as Maury Agcaoili, was lifeless at the scene. He was taken to a local hospital, where his death was pronounced.
Rescuers had a hard time reaching the boat, which was blocked by “rough seas and high winds,” the Alaska Department of Public Safety said.
Eventually they managed to salvage the ship, where they found two dead women in the cabin. They have been identified as sisters Brandi Tyau, 56, and Danielle Agcaoili, 53.
Two other occupants of the Awakin are still missing – Brandi’s longtime partner Robert Solis, 61, and the boat’s captain, Morgan Robidou, 32.
The entire family, who hail from Hawaii and Los Angeles, California, resided in a lodge in Sitka owned by Kingfisher Charters.
“It was supposed to be just a simple family reunion for the eight of us since we haven’t been in the same place together that long,” said Brandi and Danielle’s brother, Michael Tyau.
Michael, his parents and his wife were on a separate boat on the same day. The two boats made their way to different areas to fish, but Michael said their journey felt “safe.”
The Coast Guard called off a search for Solis and Robidou on Tuesday after combing an 825-square-mile area with boats and planes.
“Pausing a search is never an easy decision,” said Captain Darwin Jensin. “We extend our deepest sympathy to the loved ones at this difficult time.” Our heartfelt thanks go to the community partners and Good Samaritan Ships who responded quickly to assist in the search.”
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